The Distortion of Sound is a documentary about the decline of sound quality and how technology has changed the way we listen to music. It will open your ears and inspire you to reach for richer, more soul-stirring musical experiences.
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
Why Would Anyone Buy a Cassette Tape? "I went back to the merch table to see what was on offer and saw - among other things - a cassette tape. I figured that participating in a weird economic trend would be worth the $5, so I bought it. Needless to say, I don't own anything that could play a cassette tape."
The music industry Loudness War is over. Research into actual sales rankings, Radio Impact, Listener ratings and Hearing loss, all show better results for music with a higher dynamic range.
Forró is popular dance music from northeastern Brazil. Forró em Vinil is a blog with out of catalog forró gems for download. But wait, is this legal? [more inside]
A lifetime of lost playlists Martin Belam offers a personal history of music formats and describing how he made playlists with each of them. I'd love for his conclusion to become a reality.
The following is a list of over 3600 titles recorded from my collection of 78 rpm records....Right now, there are over 2,450 titles on this page linked to mp3's....I have about 2500 more records to record, so I'll be adding more titles as time permits over the next hundred years or so....I loaded a searchable ACCESS database for this list HERE. [.mdb] I don't know if it will work for everyone. Good luck! [more inside]
The Virtual Gramophone. A massive database of early Canadian 78 RPM recordings, now available in mp3 and rm format. Over 13,000 titles available, freely downloadable. Includes biographical notes on the artists, notes on the history of Canadian recording, interesting technical notes on media conversion, a few videos from the olde dayes, and podcasts. This collection is particularly strong on Quebecois and Acadien folk/fiddle music. Courtesy of the Library and Archives Services of the Government of Canada. Mentioned once before in passing, five years ago on Metafilter, but much improved since them realaudio only days.
Open up your mind and let everything come through. Psych and Prog get great sharity treatment. (ChrisGoes is also known for his regular appearance on torrent sites with his huge, wonderful collections).
No Condition is Permanent. World music, and African music in particular, often falls into two categories: pleasant and inoccuous, or the fetishized other. Even speaking of "African" music is misleading. Senegalese mbalax doesn't sound that much like Camaroonian makossa. And I don't say this as some great authority; I'm still just at the beginning of the learning curve. So come along with me. There's the broad Benne Loxo du Taccu, the sidebar of Mudd Up!, the great (and self-explanitory) African Hiphop, Stern's Music (this link going to a more accessible Thione Seck), Aduna (for Francophones— my middle-school French gets me by, but I'm really there for the music), Du Bruit (more Francophones, with an emphasis on vinyl sharities), and Worldly Disorientation (which covers all sorts of world music, but has some excellent African stuff). Have I missed anything great? Recommend it in the thread. I tend to prefer the psychedelic and dubby stuff more than straight folk styles, but that's me.
Vinyl Sharity There's a lot of exotic*, odd†, thrilling‡, and strangely catchy° music out there on the net. Through Weirdo Music and Record Brother, I've begun to touch the tip... And while there's a fairly proscribed etiquette regarding the sharity sites (limited time for downloads, out-of-print only, desisting when asked), I find that Free Albums and Strange Reaction have put me off of buying new RIAA albums more than Napster or Kazaa ever did. (Well, there is Regnyouth, but the downloading is such a pain in the ass for most of it that I only ever really bother with things that I own on a format that I can't convert like cassette, or that I listen to once and delete, like Interpol). But where do you go for weirdo music? Anything you've found in digging through these sites that's struck your fancy? (And if you have sharities to, well, share: You Send It, Rapidshare and MegaUpload are pretty much the gold standard.) *From Bellybongo †From WM ‡From Basic Hip °From Comfort Stand